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Has the Introduction of Microfinance Crowded-out Informal Loans in Malawi?

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  • Richard Disney
  • Eleonora Fischera
  • Trudy Owens

Abstract

This paper uses household data to test whether microfinance institutions created by the Malawian government in the mid-1990s under its Poverty Alleviation Programme crowded out access to informal loans. As in several recent studies, the paper adopts policy evaluation techniques to identify a causal relationship between access to government-sponsored credit programmes and informal loans. After taking treatment heterogeneity into account with a multiple treatment model, the paper finds strong evidence of crowding out of formal group lending on informal sources. In particular, participation in the most widespread microfinance programme has a negative and significant effect on borrowing from informal sources, reducing on average the amount that members borrow from informal lenders by more than 70 percent of the average loan value.

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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, CREDIT in its series Discussion Papers with number 10/08.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notcre:10/08

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Postal: School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD
Phone: (44) 0115 951 5620
Fax: (0115) 951 4159
Web page: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/economics/
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Keywords: informal lending; microfinance; evaluation methods.;

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  3. Sergio Navajas & Jonathan Conning & Claudio Gonzalez-Vega, 2003. "Lending technologies, competition and consolidation in the market for microfinance in Bolivia," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 747-770.
  4. DiNardo, John & Tobias, Justin, 2001. "Nonparametric Density and Regression Estimation," Staff General Research Papers 12020, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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  11. Donald Cox & Zekeriya Eser & Emmanuel Jimenez, 1996. "Motives for Private Transfers over the Life Cycle: An Analytical Framework and Evidence for Peru," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 327., Boston College Department of Economics.
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  16. Beatriz Armendariz & Jonathan Morduch, 2007. "The Economics of Microfinance," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262512017, December.
  17. Larsson, Laura, 2000. "Evaluation of Swedish Youth Labour Market Programmes," Working Paper Series 2000:6, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  18. Manca, A & Austin, P. C, 2008. "Using propensity score methods to analyse individual patient-level cost-effectiveness data from observational studies," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 08/20, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  19. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
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  23. Udry, Christopher, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in a Rural Credit Market: An Empirical Investigation in Northern Nigeria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 495-526, July.
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